Sunday, November 30, 2008

MY NAME IS BRUCE Pre-order Fun!

And as long I'm poking around Amazon, don't forget these little stocking stuffers. Unfortunately, you'll be stuffing stockings for Christmas 2009, since the DVDs don't come out until February, but hey, in a world besieged by a troubled economy and societal upheaval, isn't it great to have SOMETHING to look forward to?

Barney Bubbles Book - Say It Three Times Fast!

Barney Bubbles was the premiere record sleeve designer in England back in the 70's and early 80's, his career unfortunately cut short by his tragic suicide at a very young 42. But his work lives on and now there's a book collecting and celebrating his designs, "Reasons To Be Cheerful."

His most famous record sleeves (for most of us) are the works he created for Stiff Records, where he worked as a house designer for a time. I still remember when buying the Stiff singles was exciting not just for the music, but to see what madness the sleeves would offer. One of my favorites was a 45 RPM sleeve for "Accidents Will Happen" that was printed inside-out, color cover on the inside, blank white outside, riffing on the title. I still want a second copy so I can tear it apart and finally get a good look at the artwork inside! (Maybe this book, to be released 12/2, will finally sate my curiosity...)

One of my prize artifacts from the unfortunately named "New Wave" era is a limited edition, signed (by Elvis Costello) and numbered lithograph of the Bubbles-painted Picasso-esque cover for "Imperial Bedroom." Like much of his work, it's quirky and extremely well crafted.

Wikipedia's entry on Bubbles lists several great sites with pictures and info, but this soon to be released book, with 600 images, promises to deliver a real slice o' Bubbles to the faithful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another BRUCE-ALICIOUS Rave Review!

I tell ya, it's taking tiny parts of the world by storm!


My Name is Bruce is an hour and a half of cheesy B-movie goodness. The story is silly, the acting is often painfully melodramatic, and the whole thing is as over-the-top as one can go on a bargain basement budget. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Roger Ebert And Fate...

The movie version of illness, which is often bloodless and sanitized, generally revolves around some astonishing story of noble selflessness. The truth is, most seriously afflicted people feel like crap and most have no problem announcing that on a frequent and noisy basis. I include myself in the latter group; I've never been one to suffer in silence. YOU ALL GET TO SUFFER WITH ME.

So I am in awe of Roger Ebert's good cheer in the face of a truly debilitating series of circumstances that have left him scarred and unable to eat, drink or speak. That would be enough to make most folks, well, "grumpy," but Ebert perseveres in a truly remarkable way. He discusses all this at:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Galactica Sitrep News...

Since I'm no longer in the BSG loop (much) I get most of my info from the fan sites like everyone else... and according to Galactica Sitrep (url to the right), the Sci-Fi Channel will be previewing BSG season-the-last during a Bond marathon over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will take their word for it. I will say that the spoiler ad does feature a couple shots from "The Oath." I went out with a literal bang doing that one... the episode is pretty intense, action-wise, and takes the jolly crew of Galactica down a very dark road. I don't think it's a spoiler to remind folks that since the diabolical writing staff knew this was the final run, NO character was off-limits or "safe" in terms of their series mortality. (And that's true of ALL the episodes.)

Sitrep also links to another site with a compilation of semi-spoilers for the rest of the season. Lots of speculation out there, and "speculation" is the right word, though somehow folks have managed to keep a lid on the biggest surprises.

Since I'm off in Heroes land, it's funny how "long ago" BSG is starting to feel. My last ep of BSG, "The Oath", shot in March/April, the wrap party was in July, we figured out "The Plan" not long after, and I wrote the first (potential) episode for Caprica around then too. Big flurry of stuff, then -- suddenly it's late November. So I want to see those final finished episodes as much as everyone else.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do You Like Elvis Costello?

This fellow certainly does. He's compiled a list of every cover song Elvis Costello's ever performed or quoted, and arranged them into a 31 disc (!) fantasy CD collection for the true fan. That Elvis sure listens to a lot of music!

JCVD - Who Knew?

Caught a screening of the new Jean-Claude Van Damme art/action film, JCVD, and was duly impressed. It's a tad long and sluggish in spots, but any slight problems are over-shadowed by an impressive performance by, believe it or not, Van Damme. At 47 (and looking every day of that plus a few), Van Damme is still in amazing shape. The movie opens with a crazy "one shot" action sequence that stays in character but also manages to parody the over-the-top run-and-gun scenes that are the staple of the better direct-to-video epics.

But the real news is that Van Damme's developed an intriguing, world-weary mien that gives him the gravitas that always seemed just out of his reach. Actually, the revelation is that when he applies himself, he's quite natural, compelling and yes, genuinely "good" on screen.

Plot-wise, Van Damme plays himself, a down on his luck DTV-action star who finds himself trapped in a hostage/robbery situation in a Belgium post office/bank. While there is humor in the situation, especially since the police believe Van Damme is the robber, the whole thing is played for "real." That said, the centerpiece of the movie is an inspired moment when the action stops and Van Damme addresses the camera for a five-minute, unbroken self-excoriation that (frankly) doesn't make much sense but works through sheer acting bravado.

Don't know where this will lead for Mr. Van Damme in the future, but I am certainly more intrigued by the possibilities than I was in the wake of his last dozen DVD adventures...

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Trek Fun...

It can be a mistake to draw too much from a trailer, but I have to say, if the upcoming Star Trek reboot lives up to the promise of this one, I'll be a happy Trek fan indeed.

* The new trailer (previewed this weekend) will be up at 10AM PST.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

WGA Activists Handcuffed...

When some WGA folks passed out leaflets during American Idol try-outs about the unfair practices of the production company, some rent-a-cops handcuffed them and turned them over to the police. Who of course released them. All this at the mall on Hollywood and Highland.

I was escorted out of a Vegas casino earlier this year for daring to hand out leaflets to the press (!) gathered for a conference (this during the WGA strike itself), so evidently this is becoming a "trend."

Nikke Finke has the details at:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fans Practice Their Love For My Name Is Bruce!

Fans (and Baltimore critics!) just LUV them the Bruce!


The main gag is that Bruce isn’t a super cool, outgoing and appreciative movie star; rather he is a womanizing, drunken, asshole. Bruce plays “himself” way over the top and its pure joy to witness. It goes without saying that if you even remotely enjoy Campbell, you will love this film.

To be honest, the film is rock solid. It melds the slapstick horror humor of Evil Dead II with the brutal beheadings of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. My Name is Bruce is more funny than scary, but really the film is just a vehicle to allow fans to relish in the greatness of Campbell. Even though he runs the gamut of deplorable acts it’s still easy to love him! Though Bruce eventually has a “coming of age” moment it’s still not that profound (and he remains a dick-face pretty much till the bitter end). As an added treat you get not one, but three separate roles from the always dependable Ted Raimi.

Thomas Kincade's Movie...

It really is a small world... when I first moved to L.A., I lived in a cheap apartment in a crummy part of the city known as Highland Park. The apartment was rent controlled and because the owner of the building was a myopic, off-site fellow named Mr. Tongue (really! Sorry Joss Whedon), who evidently had no idea who lived in his units from day to day, we were all living under years-old rent agreements that had been made under names none of us recognized. (If a tenant officially moved out, the landlord then had the right to raise rents to current market values. If the name stayed the same... cheap rent!)

Anyhow, it was a two story building, with apartments facing an open courtyard with a small pool and deck. Open air walkways connected the apartments, sorta like a Motel Six. It was called "The Golden Palms" and last time I went through the old neighborhood it was still there, though looking much the worse for wear.

When I moved in, my next door apartment neighbors included Paul Chadwick (creator of CONCRETE and now legendary comic book figure), Ron Harris (another great comic book artist, since moved into animation) James Gurney (creator/painter of DINOTOPIA) and Thomas Kinkade, the now renowned (and very wealthy) "Painter Of Light." Thomas did me a real solid back in the day; when he moved out of the building, he allowed me to take over his two bedroom place (under the same precious rent control agreement), AND he left me all his furniture. I remember that one of the first things I did before moving in was repainting the place, covering all the paint spatters left during his occupancy. What would THOSE be worth now? (Or that furniture!)

Anyhow, I don't think I ever saw Kincade or his wife after that (it wasn't like we were dear friends, though cordial), though they may have popped by from time to time. The Gurneys eventually moved out too, and Paul, and the apartment complex took on a much nastier feel as gangbanger-types started coming in. I recall one night when one of the gang-guys threw a wild pool party with bikers and all sorts of craziness. Non-violent tenants bolted their doors and basically waited the party out in lock-down. In the morning, I went out to get a paper and found the next door neighbor using a broom to push the accumulated pools of blood (!) off the upper-deck walkway. Ahh, sweet memories...

Anyway, it was an "interesting place", so I'm curious to see if it is at all reflected in the new movie, just released, about Thomas Kinkade's life. Given this article from Vanity Fair, I kinda doubt it...

(Thanx to Mr. Chadwick for the link...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baltimore Is Bruce Country!!

Another good Baltimore review of the ever popular My Name Is Bruce...


Bruce isn't only a Campbell love-in, though, as some of the best gags rely are plain, old-fashioned goofiness. The mayor of Gold Lick shows "Bruce Campbell" a slideshow to explain why Guan-di is in their town, and offers an image of the local newspaper from when the mining accident happened: the story warrants maybe a square half-inch of coverage on the front page. Even better, this tale is recounted in the opening prologue as a jaunty little folk ditty sung by two men, the refrain of which goes, "Guan you, Guan me, Guan-di." And Bruce may be the only movie ever made in which tofu becomes an integral part of the climatic final battle. So while My Name is Bruce might not have that much to say about the proverbial human condition, it is both a profoundly silly and entertaining ride.

The Baltimore Sun Goes BRUCE CRAZY

Another fine review, this from the wonderful folks at the Baltimore Sun...,0,7110535.story


The film has the on-screen Campbell, an obnoxious twit who abuses fans as much as he abuses the craft of acting, recruited by the residents of Gold Lick, Ore., to save them from a vengeful Chinese demon, the dreaded Guan-di, whose specialty is decapitating his victims. Campbell at first thinks the whole thing is a joke engineered by his agent and, when he finds out it's all too real, does what any God-fearing actor would do in a similar situation. He runs.

Of course he comes back, and there's a climactic showdown of sorts. It's all played for good-natured laughs (at one point, a disgusted townie asks Campbell, "Don't you have a bad movie to make?") and the supporting cast, especially Grace Thorsen as the potential love interest, has great fun being in on the jokes. Evil Dead this isn't - but then, what is?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We're just wrapping "my" first episode of Heroes (it's #315 for those counting, the second in the upcoming "Fugitives" story line) and as usual it's been fun, challenging, exhausting, "all of the above." Gearing up and getting to understand a show in progress is always a challenge, and Heroes has been no exception. Fortunately I have a little experience in jumping aboard late, since I came to Battlestar Galactica six episodes into season two. Lesson learned? Ketchup is the red stuff you put on hamburgers and "catch-up" is what you do when you catch a speeding train with multiple-multiple characters...

All shows have a different "vibe" (pardon the 60's jargon, but it actually seemed to fit), but through every show I've done, I never cease to be amazed at the ingenuity, talent and hard-work that goes into every aspect of production. From costumes to sets to FX to editing to electrical to the guys driving everybody around, there is a professionalism and dedication to this that is a joy to behold. There are also the occasional frustrations, but so it is in life.

If you've been paying attention to the press, obviously there has been a swirl of "stuff" about the show recently. I'm as interested as the next guy in behind the scenes stories, but I've never been comfortable trading in that sort of inside-baseball stuff. Suffice to say that everyone at Heroes is knuckling down and trying to make the best show they can.

And, on that topic, and speaking to what I actually know, the upcoming "Fugitives" story-line is pretty friggin' cool. Without giving anything away, it will also be a good jumping on point for folks who may have missed a show or two. I'll be talking about this more as time marches on, but consider that a little bug in your ear. Start watching now, 'cause it's gonna be a real adventure as the episodes roll on...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why I Love Merchandising!!

You NEED this. You absolutely NEED this!

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Boston Herald Groks BRUCE!

And I hate it when people use the term grok! So you know I like it!


In the surprisingly funny and stylish, if also often lame “My Name Is Bruce,” the Bruce in question is not the one-letter-away-from-legend, 1970s Bruce Lee imitator Bruce Le. The Bruce in this case is semi-legendary actor Bruce Campbell.

Leading man of the no-budget smash hit “The Evil Dead” (1981), in which he plays immortal zombie killer Ashley “Ash” J. Williams, and such mutant spawn as “Evil Dead II” and the great “Army of Darkness” (1992), Campbell has more recently been seen in Don Coscarelli’s cult hit “Bubba Ho-tep” (2002).

Written by “Smallville” and “Battlestar Galactica” vet Mark Verheiden and directed by Campbell, “My Name Is Bruce” is a hoot and a holler and features a guitar-playing/country-singing geek chorus that “sings” us the tale of the Chinese demon Guan-Di (“Guan-you, Guan-me, Guan-deeee”).

The Hartford Courant Luvs The Bruce!

Check out the review at:,0,474227.story


A movie whose whole premise is an hour-and-a-half riff on one guy's persona would seem unbearably egotistical if Campbell didn't make himself out to be such a jerk. In his hands, it's just fun. The movie is overstuffed with hilarious sight gags, one-liners and recurring absurdities. Some cater to Campbell's core fan base. Others are a hoot even to those who don't care for cheesy horror.

It's all done with jaded, fond knowingness of Campbell's singular niche in the entertainment universe. Campbell might be the king of cinema mediocrity, but he's having a great time being the king of something.

Cool New Tunes...

Somehow the legendary midwest label "Titan" slipped past me, but it's definitely on my radar now. A tiny indie outfit that released a few power-pop singles and albums in the 70's/early 80's (and one CD in 1997), their stuff has been resurrected on a great 2-CD box set called "It's All Pop!" None of their records nudged the charts or even scored much local airplay, and that's a shame, because a lot of this is just great.

The one semi-famous name involved in this effort is/was Scott McCarl, who joined the Raspberries for a stretch. His power-pop efforts are definitely the most fun, but it's almost all darn good and worth supporting. Amazon's got it, but offers an extra disc of bonus tracks if you get it through them. Plus Not Lame deserves support, too, for offering tons of cool power pop-ish material with great reviews to help you sort the wheat from the so-called chaff.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Name Is Bruce Coming To DVD and Blu-Ray!

The details and photos are at:

February 2009, baby. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Living In Interesting Times...

Lots of stuff brewing in this crazy old world... there was a little thing called "an election" (Obama '012!), some big changes at this little show called Heroes, My Name Is Bruce coming in number one in the country on a per-screen basis last weekend, and of course, the biggest, most exciting news of ALL TIME...

The release of four "Enemies Within" action figures!! Based on my Superman/Batman comics run, you've got your Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the ever-popular Despero. I'm so out of the loop I had no idea these were even in the ether until my good pal Jeph Loeb picked one up for me at a local comic book shop.

Okay, so maybe that's NOT the biggest news of the week... but it's the easiest to blog about!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The collected Evil Dead adaptation came out in late October... this fellow's thoughts are available at:

Monday, November 03, 2008

We're #1!

More on BRUCE beating every other movie in the country with the best per-theater average of the weekend!

Well What Do You Know...

It's Image Entertainment, not Imagine, but otherwise, from today's Variety:

Imagine Entertainment’s “My Name Is Bruce” looks to have scored the best location average of the weekend -- $18,777 -- as it is estimated to have grossed that amount from one run.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More Reviewmania!!

When this one starts you go "uh oh", but then this guy digs in and we're talking major Bruce love!


As you can tell, the movie is very self referential and very self-deprecating. Bruce makes fun of himself, his fan base and low budget horror movies but it’s all in good fun. Perhaps my favorite line in the entire film comes when Bruce realizes he is in the trunk of the car of one of his fans. I won’t ruin the line but I will say that the delivery is perfect and it captures the whole spirit of the film. There is also a great attention to detail throughout the movie, with perhaps the most being the amount of Bruce Campbell memorabilia crammed into Jeff’s room. There are numerous references to many fan favorites but there are also some fake films not really in the Campbell filmology. I consider myself a big fan and even I was not sure whether or not some of the films were real, which added to the fun. Bruce even uses some lines of dialogue straight from his other films and takes on a hilarious “Ash” persona to pick up chicks.

“If you’re good I’ll show you my boomstick.”

Another Intriguing My Name Is Bruce Review...

Fannish style. Another gratuitous Timecop slam (guys! That was a long time ago!) but what the hell...


If you're a big Bruce fan, there's no reason not to like this movie. He seems relaxed here, like he's cutting loose and just having fun with the whole thing. The man's delivery style is this charismatically charged, concentrated form of intentional ham acting wrapped in a Hawaiian shirt that's all his own. My friends will all tell you tales of my legendary love of ham. Speaking of which, John Murtz, if you're reading this, sorry again about your fingers amigo... If you're not a Bruce fan, well, I have no idea if you'll like it or not cuz this really is a flick for the geeks amongst us. Give it a shot though, because it very well could make you a convert, he is that good... plus any money that anyone donates to the cause brings the rest of us that closer to another shot at seeing him on a big screen again that isn't full of plasma and sitting in my uncle George's living room. I fit in the former category of Bruce enthusiasts myself, so I can't wait to see it again tomorrow! You can bet your last pair of clean socks that I'll be putting in my reserve for a copy on Amazon when it hits DVD come February too. Hooch for the pooch!

Inventing Problems To Solve...

First it was those screwy Credit Report commercials with the scurvy rock band forced into slavery because they didn't check their (evidently) collective credit report. Now it's American Express and their commercials showing snotty German businessmen scoffing derisively at the goofy American because he dares to pay for lunch with a credit card embossed with a superhero image. Tragically the business venture collapses because of idiot's unprofessional credit card, which suggests the business may not have been on very sound footing in the first place and/or that the snotty Germans are full of crap.

In fact the message I take from the ad is to GET the credit card with Goofy or Elvis Costello on it, because if that alone can kill a deal, the guys on the other side of the table probably aren't going to be around for the long haul anyhow. If it wasn't the credit card, it would have been the shoes, the tie, the haircut, pick the social status indicator of choice.

In fact, there are a wide variety of imaginary social faux pas that could probably be solved by switching brands. The snotty German businessman sees a grocery bag with "Costco" on it and derisively stomps out, so the hapless shlub starts shopping at "Le Expensive Store." Or the snotty German smells cheap shampoo in the American's hair and snickers, forcing our man to buy something more expensive. I could create and solve these imaginary problems all day!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Name Is Bruce - Another Lovely Review!

This guy gets it! He loves us, he really loves us!


While Cave Alien is obviously meant as a hate-drenched nod to Campbell's recent [even] cheesier work like Alien Apocalypse, Alien Apocalypse is still mentioned by name, stacking up the stress that Bruce's character has about his career. You really feel for the guy, and I suspect that underneath the gags and mockery, there's a bit of Bruce's real feelings in there. He didn't write the movie, sure, but there's something really relatable in the performance and the writing. Maybe Bruce's drunken rock-bottom spin-out in the middle of the flick goes a bit overboard on the camp, but I maintain that there's truth in the sentiment. Regardless of all of this, the fact remains that My Name is Bruce is an absurdly funny film, if you're in the intended demographic. The humor and story would probably be appreciated by someone unfamiliar with Campbell's work, but the in-joke minutia is peppered in so greatly that watching the film is almost a Bruce Campbell trivia quiz... one that's pretty tough to ace.

Bruce In London!

For those curious U.K. fans, My Name Is Bruce is going to show in the U.K. sans personal appearance by Bruce. Here you go --

Bit And Pieces...

I've been swamped trying to finish a project the last month or so and hence my infrequent blogging the last few days. When you're basically doing little but getting up, having coffee and working all day, there isn't exactly a lot of discuss. Especially when I'm working on various projects that require a certain amount of discretion. I.e., "no spoilers!!" Of course national events have been exciting, but aside from a rousing "go vote! Go Obama!" I'm not sure if my endorsement here will turn the election...

I did manage to do my one hour on-camera chat for the upcoming Battlestar Blu-Ray DVD set. This evidently will be coming after the entire series has concluded because I was able to be open about various events. It's funny, I'm so used to being closed-mouthed that it was hard to switch modes and talk openly about assorted plot points and mega-spoilers, which of course won't be mega-spoilers by then. I also tossed in some amusing-in-hindsight production anecdotes, like the way, on my final day of shooting on my last episode, it seemed like everything mechanical involved in a scene decided to go wrong at once. (Don't worry, we eventually got everything we needed.)

I've been so insanely busy that I got a copy of the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica and, incredibly, haven't had a chance to watch them yet. This weekend though. However, at this juncture, I can confirm that they do, in fact, exist. (Was there any doubt?) I did watch the first eight minutes, found myself getting totally sucked in and had to stop to finish what needed to be finished. Grrr...

Meanwhile, Heroes continues to roll along. Since I joined up with the second arc for season three (which will start in Jan. 2009) I've been somewhat mum on my adventures, but I am amazed by the scope of these shows. And, as usual, how hard everyone works to get stuff done.

Meanwhile, I'm still listening to Mr. Springsteen compulsively... his Magic Tour has been a revelation in terms of bringing back ancient cover-versions and even a few new ones. Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" and the Beatles "Boys" are, I'm pretty sure, new additions to the Springsteen set, but he's also done chestnuts like "Gloria", Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo", John Fogerty's "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Who'll Stop The Rain"... and in what must have a very cool moment, Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl." The sound of ten thousand stadium voices joining in on this elegiac tune is really quite moving...